Jan 21, 2013

Travel Stories - Lessons Learned

Pillowcases by UrbanBirdandCo on Etsy
 My husband and I love to travel.  We try to take trips as often as we can afford to do so, which means we are pretty much always saving for a future trip.  I have some fun travel stories to share, including some experiences when we learned a valuable lesson.  Today, I thought I'd share one of those valuable lessons...

Our last trip was in August 2012, and we went to Scotland and Ireland.  We typically stay in multiple cities and towns, trying to get the most out of our time overseas by seeing as much as possible.  This story begins on our last day in Scotland before we ferried over to Ireland.  We were in Glasgow--Scotland's biggest city. We navigated our way through the city to our room, which was located above and managed by the pub below.  We usually don't stay in hotels--mostly we stay in small, family run bed & breakfasts or hostels. We couldn't find a suitable B&B or hostel in Glasgow, so this was the next, best (still affordable) option.  The rooms were nice--we dropped of our bags and headed out into the city.

It was a Saturday, so Glasgow was busy.  At some point during each of our trips, we will tire of large cities--fighting crowds constantly is just not our thing.  After getting a super late lunch, sight-seeing, and museums, we were done with Glasgow.  We stopped at a bookstore for some evening entertainment, grabbed dinner at a grocery store (salads, yogurts, and chocolate), and we went back to our room to relax for a while.

After we ate, we were lying on the bed reading, when I glanced down and saw a bug crawling in between us. Instantly, I'm thinking BEDBUG.  But, we didn't know what a bedbug looked like exactly, and we had no way to look it up.  So, I texted my mom: "Could you please message me a picture of a bedbug?"  We compared our new friend with the picture, and they didn't really match.  Still unsure, and kind of grossed out, I called my mom and had her read the bedbug description--size, color, do they come out during the day?  Still, they didn't match--our friend was too small.  Regardless, at this point I did not want to get back on the bed.  Bedbugs are the last thing we need during a three week trip to Europe. We pulled up the sheets to inspect the mattress--nothing.  Phew!  Then I looked down.  Attached to the bed skirt was a bonafide bedbug.  Turns out our little friend was a juvenile.  Ugh! SO GROSS!

Our little friend

So after we shared our discovery with the management and refused to stay in an adjacent room (which also had bedbugs--we checked), we had to find another place to stay at 7:00 pm on a Saturday night in Scotland's biggest city.  We made multiple calls and could NOT find a room for less that $250.  We gave up.  We took a cab to the town where we were to catch the ferry the next morning and stayed at a Sleep Inn.  Not exactly a quaint B&B, but we were desperate. But our fun adventure didn't end there, folks.

Once in our very cushy room, we thoroughly check for bedbugs.  Our bags did not touch a soft surface (and luckily they didn't in Glasgow either, otherwise we might have carried them with us!).  Sheets were ripped from the mattress. Pillows were inspected. Extra blankets were tossed into the corner.  Finally, after a shower, we could sleep.

Or so we thought.  The fire alarm goes off at 3:00 am!  "ATTENTION, ATTENTION.  THERE IS AN EMERGENCY.  PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING."  Are you kidding me?!?!  So, I throw on a jacket, grab my purse, Brandon gets dressed, and we file out the building with all other guests.  Apparently I was the only person who didn't put on any pants.  Nope.  Just sleep shorts for me in the 50 degrees.  Thank goodness it was just an alarm malfunction, because the fire department took 10 minutes to show up.  While we were waiting in the parking lot, we realized that we didn't grab everything we should have--Brandon's glasses, our second camera---my pants! Geez.

Left: Brandon and me making pouty faces in our cab leaving Glasgow. Right: Waiting in the Sleep Inn parking lot.

So two lessons were committed to memory during these exciting ten hours abroad.  Lesson 1: Learn how to identify a bedbug (adult AND juvenile).  Lesson 2:  Be evacuation ready.  Seriously.

Rest assured, we were diligent about both of these for the rest of our trip!

1 comment:

  1. Gross!! John's old neighbor had bedbugs. It was an apartment complex so... John had bedbugs too! :P. mercifully, I was in Ireland and didn't have to deal with them. Blah, makes my skin crawl!